NEW YORK — America’s most successful investor is among those who think the nation is on the verge of a “retail apocalypse” that might devastate hundreds of communities.
Warren Buffett has sold almost all of his Walmart stock, which was worth $900 million, Business Insider reported. Buffett had been a major investor in the world’s largest retailer.
Buffett seems to be among those who believe that traditional brick and mortar retailers cannot compete with Amazon. He started selling his Walmart shares last year after calling the ecommerce giant “a big, big force” that “has already disrupted plenty of people, and it will disrupt more.”
Buffett has been investing in Amazon since 2003, when he bought $98.3 million worth of that company’s junk bonds.
Traders tend to watch Buffett’s financial moves. Twelve years ago he predicted the problems Sears and Kmart are now having. Sears, the owner of Kmart, is in the process of closing 196 stores because of massive losses. In 2005, Buffett told University of Kansas students that Sears’ acquisition of Kmart would fail.
He also predicted the problems that many department store operators are having. Macy’s is planning to close 68 stores, and retail analysts expect J.C. Penney to start closing stores soon because of poor sales.
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